A Day in the Life of a Teacher

4:40am: I awake. I thought I would feel tired at this early alarm; however, I fell fast asleep at 9:20pm last night in a hoodie and jeans.

4:45am: I shower away the sleepiness.

5am: I take my dog out, and hooray: He does #1 AND #2 on the first try!

5:20am: I finish planning for the day, creating activities and handouts, and uploading documents to our Drive for colleagues and students to find.

6am: What? It’s 6am already? I have to get ready!

6:25am: Fabric toys in dog’s toy box. All paper up, up, and away. (Yes, my dog has eaten my adult homework before, my W2, AND a student’s homework before.) Head out the door.

6:50am: I arrive at school as a sliver of the sun peeks over the horizon.

6:55am: Clean up, copies, check mailbox, reply to emails, organize papers, update Blackboard, pick up laptop cart, drive down hallway, feel like I’m failing a driver’s test, safely get the cart into my room, repeat, sit down, breathe, re-orient myself, did I make copies of this?!?!?, go make copies of this, wait in line for copier, make copies only for first class because there’s not enough time before the student stampede begins.

7:40am: Students arrive, groggy, loud, weird, quiet, ready, bored, excited….awesome.

8:50am: Five computers’ batteries have died already. We make it work.

9:25am: Time for yoga class. A new student arrives, “I’m so glad I finally get to come to yoga!” As I’m about to ogle over this sweet response he adds, “For all the chicks!” and I am reminded these are seventh grade students.

10:05am: We attempt something called a “yoga wave” with moderate success.

10:10am: Speed-walk back to classroom for planning period. Get no planning done. Grade homework assignments & input into gradebook. Reply to two parent emails. Who invented emails? I thank and hate him or her daily. Update agenda & desk calendar with color-coded stickers and pens of every color from the rainbow. I call this: getting my head on straight.

11:00am: Already? They’re coming already? Pass out tests to finish. Give advice on how to persuade your parents to get that expensive lacrosse stick.

11:30am: Time for lunch. Reach in bag. I have no lunch. I have a credit card! Drive to Starbucks for caffeine and coffee cake. Drive back, book in hand because leisurely reading during a 30-minute lunch period is a pipe dream.

11:50am: Mmm, coffee cake. Slirp, coffee. Scroll, Pinterest.

12:00pm: It begins again. Google surveys, everyone! Let’s talk about audience. Commercials: Obama, Grey Poupon, Justin Bieber. Let’s talk about products. What would YOU want to buy? (If you had money…since we all know you have none as a seventh grader). No, you cannot buy a unicorn.

1:10pm: Blocking the doorway with backpacks and barging in anyway. Step out, both of you, and try again. Much better. Ms. Ochman! Ms. Ochman! Now, how might Ms. Ochman feel if you come in the room crazy and loud and booming and barrage her with questions? Confused. Overwhelmed. You got it. I bet, if we wait for announcements, I might answer your question before you even have to ask it.

1:30pm: Dooooo-woop!ย Doooooo-woop! I have my students’ attention for the briefest of moments. How far away would you say Timmy is from me? Three feet. Yes, based on the volume it was 15 seconds ago, I could not hear Timmy. Notice how quietly I’m talking now? You can all hear me, everyone in the room. I need you to focus on what volume you need to talk with the people right in front of you.

1:31pm: Great volume control.


2:00pm: Whatever. This volume thing is just me trying to prevent a migraine anyway.

2:30pm: Yes, yes we have watched this video before, but we watched it with different glasses on. Last time, we were looking for persuasive techniques. This time we put on different glasses to look for the audience they’re trying to persuade.

2:35pm: One, I need you to complete your exit ticket! Two, I need you to return your computers neatly to the correct slot plugging it in to the correct charger! Three, on the post-it write a sentence or hashtag, which describes what we learned in class today.

2:40pm: Fix computers & charging cord wires because they’re not all in the correct spot, and cords are spilled out like a zombie’s intestines.

2:50pm: Finally, the restroom!

3:00pm: Meet with assistant principal and instructional coach to plan a professional development session for 21st century skills.

3:20pm: Somehow agree to have my class video-recorded to show at the session. And this is a good thing?!?!

3:30pm: Distract AP and IC with cute cartoon video about 21st century skills.

3:35pm: Yes, I was just testing you. The instructional coach refocuses us quickly.

4:00pm: Google, help us. Why isn’t this book for free? We’re teachers. We need free resources. FREE!

4:45pm: Meeting done! Let’s go home!

4:50pm: Kidding. Let’s talk about gangs. Current events. Future of learning. Let’s go home. For real.

5:00pm: Traffic.

5:20pm: Traffic. Green light! Oh, we’re still not moving. Traffic.


5:40pm: I can see my apartment building. It’s right there…

5:45pm: Honey, I’m home! Happy puppy, happy fiance.

5:50pm: Breakfast burritos for dinner. Parks & Rec. Happiness.

7:00pm: I really should work on this lesson for tomorrow. Gah! I’m being video-recorded. Stressful.

7:10pm: How do I even start this thing? It’s about Communication.

7:20pm: Look up videos. Check colleague’s resources in Drive. There are 3. I need something more.

7:30pm: They say don’t recreate the wheel. I’m definitely re-creating the wheel.

7:45pm: I like my wheel better.

8:00pm: My wheel makes sense to my students.

8:30pm: I hope my wheel makes sense to teachers and translates well on video.

9:00pm: Yeah, yeah babe, I’m almost done.

9:20pm: I just have to make that presentation.

9:30pm: I just have to update Blackboard.

9:40pm: I just have to make sure the Drive folders are visible for my students with presentations ready to go.

9:50pm: Well, maybe I should just …yeah, babe I said I’m almost done.

10:00pm: Click. CLICK. Reload. Kill page? Yeah, I guess so.

10:05pm: Clean kitchen counters & wash dishes. Set up caffeine machine.

10:10pm: Stop…SHOWAH TIME! Der-ner-ner-ner.

10:20pm: What am I wearing tomorrow? Pants. I have to teach yoga again tomorrow. And not black. I’m going to be recorded, and I don’t want to look depressing.

10:30pm: I should write a blog post. I had coffee today. I can do it.

11:07pm: I can’t believe I just did this. This is my day, my diary, and it repeats. The students may change each year. The mental focus may change each week or day.

But no matter the time of day, I am a teacher, and that will never change.


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